Harvard University’s The Hasty Pudding Theatricals Announce Kerry Washington as its 2016 Woman of the Year

The Hasty Pudding Theatricals, the oldest theatrical organization in the United States, announces Golden Globe and Emmy Awards nominated actress, Kerry Washington as the recipient of its 2016 Woman of the Year Award.

The Woman of the Year Award is the Hasty Pudding Theatricals oldest honor, bestowed annually on performers who have made lasting and impressive contributions to the world of entertainment. Established in 1951, the Woman of the Year Award has been given to many notable and talented entertainers, including Meryl Streep, Katharine Hepburn, Julia Roberts, Jodie Foster, Elizabeth Taylor, Anne Hathaway, Claire Danes, and most recently, Dame Helen Mirren and Amy Poehler.

The Woman of the Year festivities, presented by Related, will begin at 2:45p.m. on January 28, 2016, when Washington will lead a parade through the streets of Cambridge. Following the parade, the Hasty Pudding Theatricals will host a celebratory roast for the actress. At 4:00 p.m., Washington will be presented with her Pudding Pot at Farkas Hall, the Hasty Pudding’s historic home in the heart of Harvard Square since 1888. A press conference will follow the presentation. Afterward, Hasty Pudding cast members will perform several musical numbers from the group’s 168th production, That 1770s Show.

The Hasty Pudding Institute of 1770’s philanthropic mission is to provide educational and developmental support in all aspects of the performing arts for the underprivileged, to encourage satire and comedy, and to cultivate young talent around the world. The Institute is comprised of The Hasty Pudding Club (the oldest social club in the United States), The Hasty Pudding Theatricals (the third oldest theater group in the world, after the Comedie Francaise and the Oberammergau Passion Players) and the Harvard Krokodiloes (the foremost collegiate a cappella group in the United States). Over the last two centuries, it has grown into a premiere performing arts organization, a patron of the arts and comedy, and an advocate for satire and discourse as tools for change worldwide.

We are so excited to honor Kerry Washington as the Hasty Pudding Theatricals Woman of the Year and welcome her to Cambridge to celebrate her many achievements. Kerry is an amazing actress with many fans in the company, and the perfect choice for this honor… But we also feel a bit nervous as we set out to coordinate a perfect event for legendary PR whiz Olivia Pope!” said Kennedy Edmonds, Class of 2017, HPT168 Producer. “If Kerry is anything like her on-screen character, she may turn the tables on us during her roast!” added Bobby Fitzpatrick, Class of 2016, President of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals.

Film, stage and television star Kerry Washington broke barriers by becoming the first African American woman to headline a network TV drama since 1974. Her portrayal of crisis-manager Olivia Pope on the hit Shonda Rhimes show Scandal, currently in its 4th season, has earned her numerous accolades including Golden Globe, Emmy and SAG Best Actress nominations as well as an NAACP Image Award for Best Actress.

Washington recently completed production on the HBO TV movie Confirmation, which she stars in and executive produces. The film details the explosive 1991 Clarence Thomas Supreme Court nomination hearings, which brought the country to a standstill and forever changed the way people think about sexual harassment, victim’s rights, and modern-day race relations.

Film credits include Save The Last Dance, Lift (for which she received an Independent Spirit nomination), The Human Stain, Sin, Ray, Mr & Mrs Smith, I Think I Love My Wife, Miracle At St. Anna, Mother And Child, The Last King Of Scotland, Night Catches Us, Lakeview Terrace, The Details, Django Unchained and Peeples.

Washington is active in many social and political causes. In 2009 she was appointed by President Barack Obama to the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. Washington is a strong supporter of President Obama and has campaigned on his behalf; she commanded the national stage on the final night of the 2012 Democratic National Convention in a moving address that urged Democrats to get out the vote. In 2013 Washington was honored with the NAACP President’s Award, which recognized her special achievements in furthering the cause of civil rights and public service. In 2014, Time magazine included Washington on its annual Time 100 list of the Most Influential People in the World. Washington received the GLAAD Media Vanguard Award in 2015 and the ACLU Bill of Rights Award in 2016.

Washington currently serves as both a brand ambassador and creative consultant for Neutrogena. She is also a brand ambassador for Movado, creative ambassador for OPI and ambassador for Allstate Foundation Purple Purse.

To purchase tickets to the Hasty Pudding Theatricals’168th production, That 1770s Show contact the HPT Box Office at 617.495.5205, or order online at the Pudding’s website, www.hastypudding.org. It will be performed at Harvard University‘s historic Farkas Hall, located at 12 Holyoke Street, starting February 5th. The show continues in Cambridge until March 6. The company then travels to New York to perform at Hunter College‘s Kaye Playhouse on March 11th and 12th (call 212.772.4448 for tickets). The tour continues to the Hamilton City Hall in Bermuda for performances March 16thv March 18th.

The Hasty Pudding Theatricals will announce their 2016 Man of the Year Honoree at a later date and the recipient will be honored on February 5, 2016.